Stellar Stargazing: 3 Top-Rated Telescopes for Amateur Astronomers

Stellar Stargazing: 3 Top-Rated Telescopes for Amateur Astronomers

Although life seems to grow more hectic every day, looking up at the stars can offer much-needed clarity and perspective in these unusual times. The universe is teeming with mysteries to explore, inspiring many to purchase telescopes and take up stargazing as a hobby. It is the perfect activity in the COVID-19 era. Because social distancing is still highly recommended, taking a trip away from the city lights to stare into the depths of the universe is a great way to bond with family (or your social bubble), while staying safe and healthy.

For amateur astronomers, purchasing the right telescope can be a daunting prospect. Nothing is more discouraging to newbies than buying a cheap model that does not provide crisp images of planets and nearby stars. Plus, the vast array of options does not make the decision any easier. These high-end models, recommended by experienced observers, will give budding astronomers far-reaching, expert-level views of the universe and its amazing wonders.

Dual Fork Arm: Meade 10” LX90

The Meade 10” LX90 professional-grade telescope comes with a slew of features, designed to optimize clarity and expand users’ overall view of the sky. The model comes with a sophisticated Sony GPS sensor that can pinpoint viewers’ exact point of observation on the Earth; this technology allows users to map their unique view of the skyline digitally using satellite communication—a state-of-the-art innovation. This particular telescope also comes equipped with an unusually large primary mirror—a crucial instrument that shapes a telescope’s field of vision—enabling unmatched panorama-like views of the night sky. Serious stargazers invest in this top-notch model for sharp astro-photography, and its 8×50 viewfinder is ideal for isolating difficult-to-see deep space objects. Though hefty in price, this Meade model’s capabilities are out of this world.

Celestron Nextstar 130SLT Computerized Telescope

Equipped with cutting-edge features that make stargazing easy and fun, the Celestron Nextstar 130 SLT is a smart buy for people wanting to take their celestial observations to the next level. This model’s sturdy, stainless steel tripod ensures stability and durability, and its StarPointer red-dot finder-scope helps users locate constellations and planets with precision and ease. The telescope also comes with Starry Night Special Edition Astronomy software, which gives observers access to a database of sky maps with over 36,000 space objects to discover. It also has a quick-release fork arm mount to ensure smooth setup, and its powerful lens offers pristine views of both planetary and celestial bodies—an all-around amazing instrument.

Apertura 60 EDR

Sleek and stylish, compact, and user-friendly, the Apertura 60 EDR wins the gold medal for versatility and transportable design. As a telescope, it offers gorgeous contrast and color correction, and the model weighs in at a minuscule (and impressive) 3.25 pounds. It also measures a modest 9.5 inches without its dew shield (12.25 inches when equipped), so carrying it around does not have to be a chore. Apertura 60 EDR doubles as a super-finder and a spotting scope as well, when specific lenses are added, so it can be used for stargazing or nature watching. If users want a more stable view of the stars, the telescope can be attached to a ¼-20 threaded foot mount (included with purchase), facilitating detailed and breathtaking observations of the universe’s unfurling wonders.

About The Author

Kyle Goldman is a financial advisor and journalist who has a weak spot for fast cars and far-reaching jets. He is an aviation enthusiast and hobbyist who recently received his sport pilot certificate and plans to buy his own light sport aircraft in the near future. Kyle is one-part entrepreneur, one-part writer, and two-parts book geek. He is on a personal mission to trace the literary travels of Ernest Hemingway.

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